For a little while recently, I had observed increasing fascination with Pinterest but had never bothered to look at it myself. My writer’s life is full of research, writing in longhand, transcribing, editing, my blog, Facebook-Writer, Facebook-Private, Twitter and a writer’s office business. I felt introducing any more online bit and bobs into my life would cause my writing to suffer.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered the most perfect, lush Pinterest set up by the author Lucinda Brant http://pinterest.com/lucindabrant/, whose books I thoroughly enjoy. As I read her books, I always have an image in my mind of what she is writing about but with her Pinterest boards, she has given her readers vivid food for their imaginations.
I remember viewing a discussion online about the value of enhanced e-books and some fiction readers saying they didn’t wish to have images placed in front of them as they preferred to ‘imagine’ the books, characters, settings etc in their own way. In terms of historical fiction, the reader is of course able to go to any number of sources to verify what might be in their imagination and such activity thus nullified an enhanced e-book anyway.
In the case of the e-book Gisborne: Book of Pawns, my UK publisher has issued it as an enhanced e-book but on release of the print edition by my Australian publisher, there will be no illustrative plates throughout. It will simply be a work of fictional text.
Which of course brings me to http://pinterest.com/
Over the years, I’ve collected files of visual images that inspire me for each of my novels, thus giving me colour for my narrative. Or in the words of one blessed reviewer of Gisborne: ‘…3D and surround sound … in the very best way.’ The files are like old-fashioned scrapbooks and when I saw what Lucinda had done, the thought occurred to me that I too could share my inspirational images with any readers who may tread Pinterest’s path. So I owe enormous thanks to her for showing me the way.
I began shyly. A couple of boards, a few images.
It took 20 minutes to work out the idiosyncracies of the technique, and suddenly, just like with my embroidery I had a new hobby. Not only that, I was finding the most wonderful images on other boards that were feeding my imagination.
There are the inevitable problems with attribution of some images and I’ve tried to circumvent that as best I can. Most of the original images I use are sourced from Wikimedia Commons which is like wandering through the Louvre, the BM, the V and A and any other illustrious arthouse or museum. But in my bookmarked files on my computer, I have many pics I’m unable to pin – stunning pieces from Getty Images or Veere that I would adore to share but which would contravene rigid copyright.
In the meantime, I am having such fun. It’s so addictive and I invite all and sundry to http://pinterest.com/pruebatten/ to view the inspirations for all of my work. Come on over and see real enhancement at work!